Br Dr. Thomas Sowell
One of the few political cliches that makes sense is that “In politics, overnight is a lifetime.”
Less than a year ago, the big question was whether Rudolph Giuliani could beat Hillary Clinton in this year’s presidential election. Less than two months ago, Barack Obama had a huge lead over John McCain in the polls. Less than a week ago, the smart money was saying that Mitt Romney would be McCain’s choice for vice president.
We don’t need Barack Obama to create “change.” Things change in politics, in the economy, and elsewhere in American society, without waiting for a political messiah to lead us into the promised land.
Who would have thought that Obama’s big speech at the Democratic convention would disappoint expectations, while McCain’s speech electrified his audience when he announced his choice of Governor Sarah Palin for his running mate?
Some people were surprised that his choice was a woman. What is more surprising is that she is an articulate Republican. How many of those have you seen?
Despite the incessantly repeated mantra of “change,” Barack Obama’s politics is as old as the New Deal and he is behind the curve when it comes to today’s economy.
Senator Obama’s statement that “our economy is in turmoil” is standard stuff on the left and in the mainstream media, which has been dying to use the word “recession.”
Not only has the economic slowdown failed to reach the definition of a recession, the most recent data show the U.S. economy growing at a rate exceeding 3 percent– a rate that many European economies would die for, despite our being constantly urged to imitate those countries whose end results are not as good as ours.
Barack Obama’s “change” is a recycling of the kinds of policies and rhetoric of the New Deal that prolonged the Great Depression of the 1930s far beyond the duration of any depression before or since.
These are the same kinds of liberal policies that led to double-digit inflation, double-digit interest rates and rising unemployment during the Carter administration. These are “back to the future” changes to economic disasters that need repeating.
Make no mistake, the political rhetoric of FDR was great. For those who admire political rhetoric, as so many of Barack Obama’s supporters seem to, FDR was tops. For those who go by actual results, FDR’s track record was abysmal.
Although the Great Depression of the 1930s began under Herbert Hoover, unemployment during Hoover’s last year in office was not as high as it became during each of the first five years under FDR.
During the eight years of FDR’s first two terms as president, there were only two years in which unemployment was lower than it had been under Herbert Hoover– and not by much.
World War II has been credited by some with getting the United States out of the Great Depression. What the war did was put an end to the New Deal, as national survival became the top priority and replaced FDR’s anti-business and class warfare rhetoric.
Senator Obama’s rhetoric today is the anti-business and class warfare rhetoric that worked so brilliantly in a political sense for FDR in the 1930s. But Obama is following an opposite course from FDR when it comes to recognizing threats to American national security.
Senator Obama has repeatedly tried to deal with national security threats with rhetoric. He tried to dismiss the threat of a nuclear Iran with because Iran is “a small nation”– even though it is larger than Japan, which launched a devastating attack against the United States at Pearl Harbor.
FDR had the good sense to begin urging greater military preparedness in 1940, more than a year before the United States was attacked. He said, “If you wait until you see the whites of their eyes, you will never know what hit you.”
Cutting the military budget and taking foreign policy problems to the United Nations are Obama’s version of “change.”
That is change that we dare not believe in. It is the audacity of hype.
accessed August 18, 2008.
5 http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/lisa_miller/2008/03/obamas_church_of_contradiction.html, accessed August 19, 2008.
6 http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/lisa_miller/2008/03/obamas_church_of_contradiction.html, accessed August 19, 2008.
7 Just Generosity: A New Vision for Overcoming Poverty in American, 2nd Ed. (Grand rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2007 ); The Scandal of Evangelical Politics: Why Are Christians Missing the Chance to Really Change the World? (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2008).
8 (San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 2005)
9 http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=sojomail.display&issue=060308, accessed August 19, 2008.
10 Barack Obama, keynote address at Call to Renewal’s “Pentecost 2006: Building a Covenant for a New America,” June 28, 2006; available at http://obama.senate.gov/speech/060628-call_to_renewal/, accessed August 20, 2008.
11 Barack Obama, keynote address at Call to Renewal’s “Pentecost 2006: Building a Covenant for a New America,” June 28, 2006; available at http://obama.senate.gov/speech/060628-call_to_renewal/, accessed August 20, 2008.
12 Wallis, God’s Politics, 75–76.
13 Wallis, God’s Politics, 76.
14 Karl Marx, “Critique of the Gotha program,” Basic Writings on Politics and Philosophy: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, ed. Lewis S. Feuer (Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1959), 119.
15 Barack Obama, keynote address at Call to Renewal’s “Pentecost 2006: Building a Covenant for a New America,” June 28, 2006; available at http://obama.senate.gov/speech/060628-call_to_renewal/, accessed August 20, 2008.
16 William Anderson, “An Open Letter to Jim Wallis and the Sojourners Movement,” LewRockwell.com, November 17, 2004; available at http://www.lewrockwell.com/anderson/anderson107.html, accessed August 20, 2008.
17 Wallis, God’s Politics, 242.
18 Quoted in David Chilton, Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators: A Biblical Response to Ronald J. Sider, 3rd Ed. (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1985), 19.
19 Wallis, God’s Politics, 273.
20 Chilton, Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators, 20.
21 Wallis, God’s Politics, 273.
22 Ron Sider, The Scandal of Evangelical Politics, 42.
23 Jim Wallis, “Dobson and Obama: Who’s deliberately Distorting?” The Huffington Post, June 25, 2008; available at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-wallis/dobson-and-obama-who-is-d_b_109193.html, accessed August 20, 2008.
24 Wallis, God’s Politics, 82.
25 Wallis, God’s Politics, 82.
26 Quoted in Freddoso, The Case Against Barack Obama, 162.
By Rev. Dr. Tommy Davis
When street thugs rob at gunpoint or even kill just to pilfer possessions from another person it is another example of misguided hoodlums who feel that they cannot compete legally in our economy. They believe that they must deprive others of their material goods in order to gain an economic advantage. Armed robbers must continue to commit crimes because their income will only resume through swindle. Lacking the intellectual capital and patience to participate in the free market, they cheat and steal from those who possess wealth.
Time after time the media reports this kind of action and it is justified by shifting the blame to a legacy of slavery and racism.
Obama’s speech about taxing the rich and redistributing their wealth is no different than a robbery that hasn’t yet turned bad. When liberal socialists go after companies who make an honest living and attempt to redistribute their wealth (communism) they are stealing.
Businesses manufacture a product that consumers purchase. Therefore, a fair exchange takes place. When those consumers turn around and accuse business owners of making too much money, this is nothing short of envy; and when such folks elect government officials who will penalize companies for being successful by taxing them severely, this is nothing short of criminal —- professional stick-ups.
It doesn’t matter if Obama’s becomes president. The community (especially the black community) will still suffer because the problems are self inflicted. Those black folks who vote for Obama just because he’s black are racists. He will not “change” the 50 percent school drop-out rate among African-Americans, or the 70 percent illegitimacy rate regarding two parent households in black communities; and he will not transform the high murder rate (over 50 percent) committed by black males in this country.
The same candidates who says that they will create jobs are promoting the very policies that cause businesses to lay off and slow production. Government do not create jobs. Citizens generate employment through innovation by starting businesses constructing products that benefit society.
Time will tell how many government robberies will bring about fatal wounds to American business.
by: Andrew E. Busch
News reports published in the last week have stated that the Obama campaign will make a primary theme of the Democratic National Convention the argument that a victory for John McCain will merely represent an extension of the unpopular George W. Bush presidency.
On one hand, this possibility accentuates the drag that Bush represents on the Republican ticket. Media commentators have focused their attention on the question of why McCain is so close to Obama in the polls despite all of the generic signs of a bad Republican year; another way to look at the same question is to ask where Obama, with thinner credentials than any major party nominee since Wendell Willkie, would be if Bush’s approval rating was 55 percent instead of 35 percent. The probable answer tells us how central Bush’s difficulties are to Obama’s hopes.
On the other hand, a decision to turn the Democratic convention into an unrelenting hunt for the Bush-McCain monster may prove to be a poor use of the convention.
For one thing, Obama has been trying with great regularity for the last several months to make the Bush-McCain connection stick, but with only limited success. Politically aware Americans know that McCain and Bush have been at odds on a number of important issues since their titanic nomination battle in 2000. McCain is not Bush’s vice president, and it will be much harder to pin real and perceived presidential shortcomings on him the way that Richard Nixon pinned them on Hubert Humphrey, Ronald Reagan on Walter Mondale, or George W. Bush on Al Gore.
McCain himself has a number of good defenses against the charge, which he will undoubtedly deploy (though perhaps delicately) throughout his own convention. And because the Republican convention follows hard on the heels of the Democratic convention, McCain will get the last word on the subject, perhaps before the Democratic argument has even had a chance to sink in. Obama will have given his best shot, but in the end it is very possible that not much will have changed in the race.
The danger is that the opportunity cost for Obama if he takes this course could be high. Though McCain has run a much improved campaign in recent weeks and showed himself to be a formidable opponent at the Saddleback Civic Forum, Obama’s biggest obstacle isn’t McCain, it is himself. His thin record of accomplishment and short time in public life mean that he must use his convention, above all, to help American voters reach a level of comfort that they have not yet attained with him as a person and as a political figure.
Obama remains, in the minds of many Americans, a big question mark. His policy pronouncements are vague, his associations are questionable, his record in the U.S. Senate and the Illinois legislature is minimal, his enthusiastic embrace by foreign crowds not normally disposed to wish the United States well is troubling. His frequent shifting around since early June has only served to raise more questions.
The Democratic convention may be Obama’s last big chance to try to answer those questions on his own terms. On some counts, the task may be beyond him (how does one explain away Bill Ayers?), but on others, the convention offers him a venue well-designed for the exposition of biography and policy.
Using it instead primarily as a bludgeon to establish a largely spurious connection between Bush and McCain could work, but just as likely will not. There are many more holes in the public’s knowledge of Obama’s story than in its knowledge of McCain’s. If Obama doesn’t use his convention effectively to fill them in first, the Republican convention a week later surely will. Then the Bush-McCain monster will sink out of sight, replaced by the ubiquitous McGovern-Obama creature, which may prove more enduring because it is more plausible.
Andrew E. Busch is a Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College and an Adjunct Fellow of the Ashbrook Center.
1 Hal Lindsey, “Oh, My Gog!” (August 22, 2008): http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId=73063
2 I am well aware of how the Hebrew word rosh in Ezekiel 38:2–3 and 39:1, best translated as “chief,” is made to mean modern-day Russia. I deal with this claim in my forthcoming book The Magog Invasion: Why Modern-Day Prophecy Writers are Wrong and Dangerous.
3 The proverb has been corrupted and is often stated as “The proof is in the pudding.”
4 Hal Lindsey, The Road to Holocaust (New York: Bantam Books, 1989), 65. Emphasis in original. Just for fun, the address for Bantam books is 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York.
5 Ron Rhodes, Northern Storm Rising: Russia, Iran, and the Emerging End-Times Military Coalition against Israel (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2008), 20.
6 Norman Geisler and Ron Rhodes, Conviction without Compromise: Standing Strong in the Core Beliefs of the Christian Faith (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2008), 196.
7 Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, Are We Living in the End Times?: Current Events Foretold in Scripture . . . And What They Mean (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1999), 84.
8 Greg L. Bahnsen, “The Prima Facie Acceptability of Postmillennialism,” Journal of Christian Reconstruction: Symposium on the Millennium, ed. Gary North (Winter 1976–1977), 53–54. This article can also be found in Greg L. Bahnsen, Victory in Jesus: The Bright Hope of Postmillennialism (Texarkana, AR: Covenant Media Press, 1999).
9 Mark Hitchcock, The Coming Islamic Invasion of Israel (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2002), 93.
10 I make a case for this interpretation in my forthcoming book The Magog Invasion: Why Modern-Day Prophecy Writers are Wrong and Dangerous.